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melt in baltimore. chip reed is at m. and t. bank stadium in baltimore. chip, good morning. >> reporter: good morning, nora. this stadium was literally rocking last night. the fans were ecstatic. that's not just because the home team, the baltimore ravens won, it's also because the real referees are finally back. >> and as i'm sure all of you know by now, the regular & officials are back. >> the return of the referees came with an unprecedented standing ovation. as the browns and ravens got ready to rumble, fans and players warmly welcomed the veteran crew as they took to the field for the first time this season. >> really good to see you guys. >> thanks for your support too. it means a lot. >> reporter: kickoff came less than 24 hours after the officials union reached a tentative deal with the nfl marking an end to a bitter three-month lockout. >> great to have the regular refs back. replacement refs were horrific. >> first flag of the first quarter. the referee's come back couldn't have come soon enough for teams and fans. over the past three weeks they've witnessed a long list of con
referees are out. regular officials will be back tonight at the browns/ravens game in baltimore. they reached a deal overnight that follows two days of marathon talks and three weeks of controversy over mistakes by the replacement refs. >> the eight-year agreement increases the average salary from $149,000 a year to $205,000 in 2019. it also settles a dispute over referees' pensions. this morning james brown of the nfl today told us fans and players will be glad to have the regular refs back. then it will be back to business as usual. >> they always have been appreciated, but make no mistake about it, they are some of the most competent officials in any sport globally. however, while the fans may well greet them with a standing ovation later tonight, the players and coaches will be glad to have them back, somewhere in the first quarter with the first blown call, even with the most competent officials, they will be booed. this is an oxymoron, but they will be lovingly booed as well. >> and both president obama and mitt romney are campaigning in the battleground state of virginia
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